Smart Solutions for ICT

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Smart grids using energy-efficient technology has become a buzzword in the

ICT industry today. The recent global smart grid conference in the US also

highlighted why smart grid technology is the way forward—from power conservation

through smart meters to smart grid for the telecom and IT industry that will

help in load shedding and faster, higher capacity systems.


In India, smart grid technology is still new, but is

definitely gaining ground. Software giants like IBM are working with NDPL to

bring these energy solutions to India, customized for the problems faced by a

huge market and burgeoning population.

With the help of its Global Intelligent Utility Network

Coalition, IBM works with each country in the group to customize solutions

according to individual needs.


Accordingly, IBM has released its new POWER7 systems,

which is set to help the electric utility industry better manage transactions

and data streams created by the emerging smart grid technologies. IBM POWER7

systems is estimated to enable the handling of numerous transactions in

real-time and analyze the associated volumes of data, typical of emerging

applications. The new systems and management software include the IBM Power 780,

Power 770, Power 755 and Power 750 Express servers, as well as the IBM Systems

Director Express, Standard and Enterprise editions.

Meanwhile, Lineage Power is also working on several new

smart grid solutions, especially for the telecom market. Eco Priority Source

prioritizes sustainable energy sources before the utility grid or generator

sources by drawing power from the solar, wind, water or fuel cell sources before

drawing on the utility or generator source. Eco Priority Source also allows for

alternative sources to supplement the grid like real-time traditional energy

sources to provide the greenest source possible.

Lineage has also developed Smart Grid Demand Response

capabilities. Accordingly, Lineage Total Efficiency architecture interacts with

smart grids in three ways:

  • Automated, by listening and responding to requests from

    the power utility (protocol based)
  • Scheduled, whereby the service provider decides when to

    go off-grid (calendar based)
  • Dynamic, based on the lowest cost of power during a

    particular time period from a particular utility (financial based)
  • About $1.3 bn in venture capital was invested in

    the smart grid sector in the last four years and $105 mn in the last two

    quarters of 2009
  • The electric grid remains one of the last networks

    not transformed by IT and is arguably one of the far reaching and most

    extensive networks in existence
  • The three biggest challenges facing the smart grid

    are: interoperability standards, utility business models that promote

    energy efficiency and proper development of systems architecture that can

    support enterprise-wide current and future applications
  • Without a smart grid, renewable technologies will

    remain niche at best. The hopes for the widespread adoption of renewable

    sources is non-existent without a smart grid to facilitate and integrate

    these variable generation sources
  • The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    estimates that it will cost $165 bn over two decades to complete the

    evolution to smart grid worldwide

Thus, in the future, a telecom operator will have the opportunity to source

power from different utilities at various points throughout the day based on the

electrical provider with the most cost-effective rates.

According to a report by GTM Research, the most funded smart grid start-up

companies till date are those competing in the networking/communications space

(solving the end-to-end communication challenge). As the ICT market matures in

the next two to five years, and software giants grow their presence in the

market sector, the application space is set to be the next frontier of smart

grid start-up capital. Thus, smart grid will soon go from being used selectively

in certain industries to being used globally for all industries, and on a daily

basis to act as a much-needed green solution to an increasing carbon footprint.

Beryl M